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Posts tagged ‘Danilo Diluca’

Giro del Trentino: Diluca Attacks, Hunter Wins

Today’s third stage of the Giro del Trentino finished in a bunch sprint, despite the determined efforts of LPR Brakes to force a split. Robbie Hunter of Barloworld won ahead of Stefano Garzelli of Acqua e Sapone and Danilo Diluca of LPR Brakes. The general classification remained unchanged with Janez Brajkovic of Astana leading Ivan Basso of Liquigas by 4 seconds. According to Gazzetta, Basso made the whole thing look easy, finishing without a hair out of place.

The climby bits came early in today’s stage, which crossed two summits in the Gruppo Sella, the Sella and the Gardena. Giampaolo Caruso of Ceramica Flaminia won the KOM on both peaks. Said Caruso later, “I have trained very well, and it is heartbreaking not to be able to ride the Giro.” Ceramica Flaminia did not receive an invite this year. After yesterday’s third place finish on the Alpe di Pampeago and today’s efforts on the climbs, he should take home the mountains classification.

But the main action in today’s race came from Diluca’s LPR Brakes team. After 19 kilometers of racing, a 20 rider break escaped, which included three riders from LPR: Gabriele Bosisio, Riccardo Chiarini, and Aleassandro Spezialetti. In a move that should have surprised no one, Danilo Diluca set off alone from the main field to bridge the 2.38 gap to the breakaway. On the descent off the Gardena, Diluca made it across to the lead group. Behind, Acqua e Sapone led the chase.

With 60 kilometers to ride, Gabriele Bosisio attacked from the lead group. Alone at the front, Bosisio survived 40 kilometers. With just 20 kilometers to ride, it was gruppo compacto. The final kilometers of the course climbed steadily at a gentle gradient. Diluca attempted to anticipate the sprint, after a nice set-up from his team, but Robbie Hunter spoiled the LPR party. Hunter won the stage, followed by Garzelli in second and Diluca in third. Race leader Janez Brajkovic and second-place Ivan Basso finished comfortably in the main field. Likewise for Giro fave Gilberto Simoni.

No one seems to have hung around for post-race comments. This is very disappointing. Perhaps something will turn up later.

Tomorrow the Giro del Trentino concludes with a jaunt up the Passo Mendola, 15 km averaging 6.5%, and finishes on a 9 kilometer climb to Pejo Fonti. The finish isn’t especially steep, just 4%, but after 214 kilometers of riding, it should smart a little.

Giro del Trentino: Climbing to the Snow

Today’s stage finished on the Alpe di Pampeago, scene of Marco Pantani’s famous win in the 1999 Giro. Random factoid: Gilberto Simoni finished second that day. Today, it snowed at the summit.

Ivan Basso gave notice that he is ready for the high mountains of the upcoming Giro. The Varesino set a torrid pace on the steep slopes of the Pampeago, whose average gradient of 8.7% is not for the faint of heart. Only Giampaolo Caruso of Ceramica Flaminia and Przemyslaw Niemec of Miche Silver Cross could hold Basso’s wheel. With 1500 meters to go, Niemec jumped free. The 29 year old Polish rider, who missed the 2007 season recovering from an accident, celebrated a solo victory at the summit. Niemac called the victory a dream come true, “Every year I have ridden strong, but I have never won.”

Basso finished 22 seconds behind Niemac and moved up to second in the general classification behind Janez Brajkovic of Astana, who took over the lead from his team-mate, Andreas Klöden. Klödie won the opening crono, but found the steep slopes of the Pampeago considerably less to his liking. “I am very happy,” said Basso after the stage. Contento, if not tranquilo. “I rode hard the whole climb, then Niemec jumped away like a spring,” he explained. All the same, he called the stage “an ideal test.” Basso looks well-prepared for the start in Venezia in two weeks time. Though his opening crono did not inspire confidence, after his hard work today, Basso trails Brajkovic by just 4 seconds. Niemac is currently third, 22 seconds down.

For some of the other Giro favorites, it proved a less optimal day. Gilberto Simoni has suffered from the flu over the past few days, and was disappointed with his fourth place finish on the Pampeago. Today’s stage passed over Simoni’s local roads and no doubt he’d like to have collected one more win on the Pampeago. Simoni finished 45 seconds down on Niemac and 23 on Basso. “This was the first test and I hoped to ride well,” Simoni said after the stage. “I did not go well, as is clear,” he concluded. Danilo Diluca of LPR Brakes finished still further behind at 1.50, but the former Giro winner believes that his form is “building.” “I am not on top form,” he admitted, but today’s stage was only the “first hard finish.” Diluca remains optimistic about his chances, when the Giro d’Italia starts in two weeks time.

Tomorrow’s stage of the Giro del Trentino is a hilly affair that crosses the border into Austria. Full results and stage information at steephill.tv.

Post-race quotes from Gazzetta dello Sport.